About The Upside Down World of Gustave Verbeek

The Upside Down World of Gustave Verbeek

One of the eight wonders of the comics world: The Upside Downs of Little Lady Lovekins and Old Man Muffaroo by Gustave Verbeek. There were earlier illustrations in books and magazines with this illusion (images that read different when viewed upside-down), but Verbeek created the first such imagery in the comics, and the first to use these images sequentially to tell a story. This one Sunday page came in two parts; the first is read like a regular comic, then you turn the page upside down and the images transform, the characters and backgrounds changing to continue the story with the same panels in a new position. But GoComics makes it easy—we turn the page upside-down for you!

The comic strip appeared in several major newspapers from October 1903 to January 1905, including New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. It was always printed as a half-full page and sometimes only in 1, 2, or 3-color format, rather than the usual 4-color format.  This GoComics presentation offers the complete run of the Upside Downs (1903-1905) in the best format available, digitally restored and presented in their original colors. Also featured is the complete run of Verbeek’s Loony Lyrics of Lulu (1910) and a sampling of his long-running favorite, Terrors of the Tiny Tads (1906-1914).  The Tiny Tads can be seen as an influence in the early work of Maurice Sendak.

So enjoy these classics from the earliest years of American newspapers. You may never look at comics in the same way again.

This historic comic is presented in its original form, unedited from the time period in which it was created. These images may contain harmful stereotypes, problematic and antiquated ideologies, or otherwise negative cultural depictions and themes indicative of the context in which it first appeared. We run these vintage comic strips to preserve a digital archive of the medium's early examples.

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